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Balthazar Research Report: Let’s Conquer The Zone in SHRAPNEL

8/10 – Great

Pre released game score

SHRAPNEL has touches of brilliance, and we firmly believe this can be one of the leading GameFi games in the grander metaverse, reflecting our score of 8.

Section scores

Background – 8
NFT Game Assets – 7.5
Website – 9
Artwork – 8.5
Team – 9.5
Whitepaper – 7.5
Socialnomics – 7.5

Read More on Explaining the Scoring.

Written by Nicholas Korsgård, Chief Gaming Officer, Kim Bjerkeli, Sigurd Thomassen and Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen, Game Strategists, Balthazar Alpha Team

Introduction

Have you ever wished you had known about something before it became huge and famous? Well, this could be your chance to do just that.

Welcome to SHRAPNEL, a competitive multiplayer FPS game that allows players to explore their creativity in the game, including skins, map creations, and more. Behind this game-to-be, we find the insanely talented team of members who have worked on big titles such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Halo, Bioshock, Killer Instinct, The Sims, Game of Thrones, and even Harry Potter. If we don’t have you convinced yet, we aren’t sure what will.

The year is 2044, 6 years after the immense exosolar astroid 38 Sigma collided with the moon and created Saturn-like rings around the moon. However, fragments of the asteroid, rich in valuable resources, were discovered. Thus, starting a new raging war where the rules are simple: Survive.

In this article, we will cover the background, lore, and gameplay and present a thorough review of the website. We will also present the experienced team behind Shrapnel, the roadmap, whitepaper, and socialnomics. Last but not least, we will be speculating on the future of Shrapnel and our thoughts on this project.

Without any further ado, let’s get into it.

Background


Shrapnel is a first-person shooter (FPS) game built by a team of BAFTA and Emmy award-winning industry veterans on the Avalanche blockchain. Shrapnel provides a Roblox-like player creation tool in which creators can make assets, maps, and content for others to play, buy, and use within the community.

Players will compete on maps made by the community’s creators, and the players and community will own the platform and decide its direction in the future.

Lore

Shrapnel’s story is set in a universe where an enormous asteroid named 38 Sigma collided with the moon. This collision caused a barrage of lunar meteorites, hitting a 500-kilometre-wide band around the Earth. The band, called the Sacrifice Zone or The Zone, is left uninhabitable and walled off from the rest of the world.

Nations and corporations have assembled Mercenary Extraction Forces (MEFs) to venture into The Zone, looking for a new and exotic material called Compound Sigma, allowing quantum mechanic behaviours to manifest. Among the MEFs, VELDACHA CORP (V-Corp) is the most prominent, and it rapidly captured the market on the new technology originating from the exotic Compound Sigma. With the apparent advantages of controlling The Zone and its secrets, players of Shrapnel enter as MEF Operators, battling it out against other MEFs for control over The Zone.

Gameplay

The main gameplay loop of Shrapnel is for players to enter The Zone as operators for a MEF to find and extract valuable resources. However, as a player, you are not the only one looking for these resources. The Zone is where most other players will also spend their time in the game, resulting in an environment with high stakes that encourages risk-taking and rewards competitive skills.

Players outfit their operators with various gear which fit their desired playstyle before entering The Zone. Each gear part is an NFT and is dropped on death in a full-loot style system. A system like this forces players to think twice about their actions, as the chance of losing it all is always looming. Additionally, there are additional items players can collect apart from NFTs dropped by other players, such as Compound Sigma, which is highly valued and is the primary purpose for the MEFs to enter The Zone.

When a player has acquired some loot in gear or Compound Sigma, they need to get to an extraction zone, which is usually highly contested, to get away with it all. The game will place the successfully extracted loot in the player’s persistent inventory as NFTs, which can be used to craft or build out the loadout for future sessions.

Every action matters when the pool of players shrinks in the game session and extractions become riskier. This moment is where makeshift strategies and brittle alliances emerge. As the stakes rise, the higher the potential fall.

We, in the Alpha Team, are impressed by this concept. From our experience with a full-loot system back in the day with Eve Online, we’re eagerly looking forward to feeling the same excitement, intensity, and emotional rollercoaster a PvP fight can provoke when everything is on the line. Players can lose weeks of grinding and gains in one unaware moment, and this will make for strategies where a player might not bring all of their best gear into a fight as there’s a risk of losing it all.

Operator Classes

Within Shrapnel, players can choose between three different classes. These are Assault, Survivalist, and Infosec. Each of the classes has its own skill-based progression tree. For example, through progression within the operator class, players will unlock various abilities and equipment to improve their play. Furthermore, where each class has its strengths and weaknesses, they can complement each other, encouraging different strategies and alliances.

A temporary Contract Operator character is available for new players or those who want to try a different class without risking their gear. Of course, this option leads to lower gameplay rewards, as there is little risk.

Gear and Crafting

The gear within Shrapnel is extracted in previous play sessions, or the players themselves craft the gear. Strategies will evolve around this gear’s loadout and the player’s risk tolerance as operator gear and equipment range in quality and performance. On one side, there’s the low-tech dependable weaponry of Contract Operators, and on the other side, the devastating but failure-prone advanced technology of a Corporate MEF. By learning each component’s strengths and weaknesses, players can mix and match different gear components to customise their loadout to fit the playstyle.

Gear involves several sub-components such as weapons, armour, consumables, and technology.

  • Weapons feature several classes with meaningful differences in playstyle. Players can disassemble weapons for parts that, in turn, can be used to craft customised weapons available for sale in the marketplace.
  • Armor provides defensive bonuses as well as utilities. In this category, players can mix and match different pieces from different armor sets.
  • Consumables are single-use items, such as grenades and medical kits. These items are not tokenised as NFTs and are, therefore, not tradable. Players must be strategic in using such consumables and prioritise how they loot and use these items.
  • Technology covers items such as night-vision goggles and information-gathering devices. Technology assists players but are not consumed on use. These items enable new ways to interact with maps and how the players plan a fight.

Tournaments

Within Shrapnel, players make most of the content. Therefore, players with some “drive” can create their own tournaments within the game. Everything from rules, terms, and promotion of such events will be defined and done by the players—tournaments like this offer both the event arrangers and competitors to earn rewards.

Missions

There will also be goal-oriented missions related to extraction gameplay, content creation, and marketplace participation, where participants can receive $SHRAP token rewards.

Community

The community and player base is the heart of the Shrapnel ecosystem and is what drives development and gameplay at every stage. The community will be invited to make decisions in the Shrapnel universe, including design, roadmap, and aesthetics. The more a player participates, the more impact they will have on the project. In addition, the team will openly share the development progress through social media channels such as Discord, Twitter, and the website.

MEF Headquarters

Within Shrapnel, players can join different MEFs, which is Shrapnel’s answer to guilds. MEFs can have headquarters built into the various game loops in pre and post-game lobbies. In the HQ, members can access MEF collective resources through the armory, show off their creative skills, and relax between games. It is, in essence, a guild hall—naturally, the more players joining a MEF, the better for the owners. MEF owners will have various tools to allow players to use the collective resources for the good of the community.

Reputation

In Shrapnel, players will gain a reputation score when participating in the game. A player’s overall reputation score is based on three facets: Play, Creation, and Community. A high score in these facets earns the player rewards such as in-game boosts or new modding capabilities. In addition, the higher the total reputation score a player has, the more discoverable the player’s profile and content are in the marketplace. The system is designed to reward positive interactions and police negative behaviour. This system includes time-outs or mute, and repeated lousy behaviour can result in a ban from Shrapnel.

NFT Game Assets


Marketplace

Shrapnel will have a robust, order-book style marketplace to trade all game assets. Participants will enter bids and offers in a sophisticated peer-to-peer marketplace for each level of assets that are listed. All transactions will be settled in SHRAP tokens, but the bids and offers themselves will be represented in their USD equivalent for ease of use which we can appreciate.

Staking and Rewards

Being a part of the Shrapnel community means you are heavily incentivised to engage and participate in asset creation, finding, curating, and promoting the best player-created vanity items and maps. This is further enabled as anyone can stake on any map or vanity item to earn staking rewards based on NFT performance through a two-tier program as seen below:

Shrapnel introduces and heavily builds around player-created content. Providing professional-grade creator tools using the same Unreal Engine technology used to make the game allows anybody to start creating their own Shrapnel content rapidly. Once created, players can mint their content into NFTs and trade them in the games marketplace, earning rewards based on popularity.

Shrapnel will provide base assets, pre-seeded, to the marketplace to ease the process of creating new, high-quality vanity items.

Vanity

Players can create their own vanity items, choose their unique quantity, and set the price. Furthermore, players can then add these items to the Shrapnel marketplace. Five classified vanity materials will be offered with a limited total supply. Vanity items created utilizing these rare materials will include their own in-game expressions.

Maps

In addition to items, players can also create their own maps utilizing base and prefabricated assets from the Shrapnel team.

Discovery

Staking SHRAP increases how discoverable user-created content is. In addition, stakers, creators, and stakeholders can receive SHRAP rewards based on their content performance. In other words, Shrapnel is empowering their community with tools to build assets while, at the same time, increasing utility for their SHRAP token and rewarding good performers in their own market.

Land

Shrapnel’s whitepaper states that land or “map” owners will receive a “fair” proportion of the value creation on their land.

The map framework in Shrapnel consists of two main categories of land:

  • The Arena (Curation/promotion land)
  • The Podium (Competition land)

The primary goal as a map owner is to get your map to the centre of “The Podium,” as depicted below:

In “The Arena,” owners and curators can promote maps to attract players and SHRAP stakes. The more players and staked SHRAP, the bigger your map gets, and you move closer to “The Podium.”

The Podium hosts a popularity-and-performance tournament with a regular promotion-relegation cycle. Any performance-based SHRAP rewards are split between land owners, curators, map owners, and stakers.

Value Drivers by Persona

Player Flow:

Curator Flow:

Creator flow:

Land Owner Flow:

The Operators

As of today, the only released and teased NFTs we can see are “The Operators”, which are five different characters, Aniki, “M”, Hassan, Alyxandra and Alek. Each character is featured in Shrapnel’s upcoming standalone comic series, and they each have their own story told in one of the five comic books currently in production. Collecting an operator NFT grants you access to the comic tied to that specific operator along with “much more,” which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Shrapnel also teased on Twitter on the 22nd of June that collecting the full set will give “An added benefit”.

You can find the entire available collection on Opensea.

At the time of writing this report, the floor price of the operators was at 0.055 ETH (60$)

Some statistics on all-time average sales prices, and all-time volume from Opensea on the collection:

Tokenomics


SHRAP is set to be issued as an ERC-20 token and shortly after deployment on Avalanche. The token genesis event creates 3 billion SHRAP tokens as the total supply, which is hard-capped and will never increase. There will not be created or minted other tradeable tokens.

SHRAP tokens will be distributed and unlocked as depicted below.

https://www.shrapnel.com/Shrapnel-White-Paper.pdf

Token utility:

Governance:

  • DAO and sub-DAO votes/platform governance
  • Player-created content voting

Running validators

  • Payment to validators; fees subsidized by the Shrapnel protocol at no cost to end-users
  • Stake SHRAP on validator nodes in the Shrapnel subnet.

Minting and Medium of Exchange

  • Pay fees in SHRAP to mint player-created content like maps, prefabs, skins and vanities.
  • Shrapnel marketplaces utilize SHRAP as their default currency.

Rewards

  • Player-created content/gameplay
  • Content Discovery participation

Alpha Team’s Thoughts on the Tokenomics

It’s evident throughout the whitepaper that incentivizing the community to engage and utilize player-created assets is deeply ingrained in Shrapnel’s philosophy, which also goes through for their tokenomic idea. We’d love to see some clear ideas on handling token unlock dumping, which seems to be the standard across all GameFi games. 

In general, the whitepaper is relatively thin and at an early stage regarding tokenomics. We are expecting more future updates from the Shrapnel team here and hopefully some new exciting solutions to potential issues. GameFi moves quickly; therefore, adapting to the failures and successes of other game launches before you is key to your success.

Shrapnel website


We compared Shrapnel’s desktop version of its website to its mobile site to see how it measures up and if there were any changes that Shrapnel could make to the site to improve it. Follow along to see our verdict. In this testing, we used a Samsung Galaxy S10+. This part will be a deeper dive than usual, so hold on tight, and let’s get into it.

Desktop

Main Site

Our first impression of the website was that it looked professional and well made. When entering the site, the user would be presented with the heading menu, which shows different aspects (options to click), such as Game, Blockchain, Roadmap, About Us, and careers. In addition, there was a big picture with ember effects with great details that sufficiently gave an idea of what this game is about, showcasing different guns, armor, robots, a moon splitting up, and several UAVs’ (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to mention some of the details. However, it could be worth noting that the ember effect could have had a better loop; for now, it was very obvious when it started and ended.

On the main site, the user would be guided by an arrow pointing down, which could also be clicked to see the next chapter of this website. The heading menu disappears as the user scrolls down but quickly reappears when scrolling back up, adding to the user-friendliness factor.

The website quickly explained what Shrapnel is and what the setting of the game is, continuing with the phrase “Who Will You Be?” to intrigue the user to continue reading. In addition, the website creators had made it very clear when the user would have to click to explore more of the website, marking the links in yellow, as shown below. 

These hyperlinks would send the user to different aspects of the website which would belong to either of the main choices in the heading menu. However, we noticed that not all of these hyperlinks had the same name on the main website as on the heading menu. This could contribute to a messy read where the user doesn’t know where they have read or been led.

The website had a black and white theme, with some digital details such as hexagon patterns and fading effects on the left and right sides of the screen. Additionally, the artwork was realistic and highly detailed, and we love how the designers used the colors to make the artwork come to life. We could also imagine that the different objects on the artwork could be showing off weapons, armor, consumables, and possibly more items that would be collectible in this game. Scrolling further, the user could read more about the AAA Team, having members who have worked on games such as HALO, Call of Duty, Starwars, and Westworld.

Continuing, we could see that Shrapnel presents an operator’s NFT collection, a standalone comic series featuring the story of each of the main characters to collect, which will give exclusive perks to the user. The comic book series offers a backstory of the world that changed after the moon was hit by an asteroid. 

We, in the Alpha Team, think this is a fun and creative way to get the user to interact with the content in different ways, and we are here for it. Further on, the website promoted its Discord server, promising exclusive rewards to early supporters.

Like many websites we’ve looked into, Shrapnel also promoted the articles in which they have been included. By clicking on each of the Logos promoted, such as “VentureBeat,” “Blockchain gamer Biz,” “GameDaily.Biz,” and “Coin Telegraph,” the user would be connected to the relevant article. 

The roadmap was also available on the website, and the user would have to click on a link to see the complete roadmap, using the same yellow markings as previously mentioned. Following this, the user could look into the FAQs to see answers to typical questions. The window would be expanded by clicking on the question and symbolized with a yellow arrow, followed by a said explanation.

The last part of the website encouraged the user to sign up for their newspaper to receive the newest information about the game. Finally, the website ended with a menu where users could visit their Twitter and Discord servers and look at their LinkedIn, following several hyperlinks to see more of their site. 

This website had somewhat of a different layout than most we’ve seen thus far. By this, we mean that there are several links exploring the various aspects of the website following a hyperlink. By simply reading the main website, the user would only have gotten a selected amount of information on what is available.

For instance, the main website had a hyperlink “Discover the game” and a “game” aspect in their heading menu, giving the user a lot more information.

Game // Discover The Game

This part of the website lets the user discover the “Earth Fall,” “The sacrifice zone,” and “Conflict for compound sigma.” For the first background picture featured on “Earth Fall,” there were added effects such as rain and lightning. For the “Conflict for Compound Sigma” further down on the site, we got to read about the compound (called Sigma), which was revolutionary and quickly increased demand, resulting in massive MEF wars.

All in all, by deep diving into the different links from the heading menu, we found so much more information giving a lot more perspective on how detailed this game and backstory is and, of course, more artwork, which sets the mood. Here we can also find the source of “Shrapnel,” a fragment of the asteroid rich in rhodium, iridium, and platinum. These resources soon became valuable, and the guards extracted and guarded these resources with their life, killing anyone who came in their way. The Sacrifice Zone is, in a few words, a hazardous area to find yourself in.

“The world is yours.” The player could have a shot at the game, which is brutal but fair. There are also options to access powerful creation tools that community members could use to create the experience that the user wants to play or even create items to sell on the market. A big part of this game is also the ever-expanding ecosystem.

In the “Game” part of the website, one heading is “Gear up and fight,” introducing an elementary rule: Survive. It seems the player needs to focus on several sides of the game to succeed, such as components that include risks, crafting, and three different classes: Assault, Infosec, or Survivalists, which all have different skills and abilities.

The game features a fascinating concept in which players can create custom skins, minting them into a chosen amount of NFTs to sell on the marketplace—giving the player a very special role in this game.

Overall, this part of the website is comprehensive and explains the games’ different aspects and sides. The user could also read about “map creation” and “community,” a call to action “Explore our world,” and a second chance to join the Discord server. The website shows off even more artwork, which seems to set an idea of what the in-game world will look like, featuring a first-person view. If we were to comment on something, we feel it would be positive to be able to expand the artwork into fullscreen.

Blockchain // Our blockchain Vision, NFTs, SHRAP Token (Whitepaper)

In this aspect of the website, which can be found by clicking on the “Blockchain” in the heading menu following “Our Vision,” we can read about the team’s wish to create a competitive multiplayer FPS game where players can customize and be rewarded for spending time and enjoying the game. Again, the black and white theme follows the site throughout while having the yellow trend with hyperlinks. Here, the user could enter the whitepaper for a more in-depth read.

Scrolling down the site, the creators explained the several advantages of the blockchain and the way the creators see the future of gaming. In many ways, the creators ensure that users understand the terms often used in blockchain games.

Following the “NFTs,” we saw the same overall black and white digital theme. Again, we saw the creators explaining the terms to the user and how these factors work in the game, marketplace, and token. The explanations are made easy to understand, giving a very nice introduction to anyone who might be new to P2E and blockchain. The Alpha Team is sure that this would answer many questions any newcomer has. However, the website is huge. All this information and the grand scale of the website could also be challenging to navigate. This point is one of our worries for the website.

For the last part of the Blockchain aspect featured in the heading menu, the user could find information about the SHRAP Token. This part of the website explained how the token is used, the number of set tokens available, and a general “what is it,” including minting, “governance & staking,” and “gas tokens & exchange.”

For the roadmap part of the website, the user could explore the active developments and what’s to come. More on this later on in our research report.

About us // Meet The Team

By clicking on the news, the webpage would hyperlink the user to a Medium page where they could explore different articles written on the game-to-be.

In the studio part of the website, we could read about the team and their previous experiences and achievements. We noticed that the designer had reused several of the artwork and text at this point. This observation is just something we observed and don’t consider either a pro or a con. 

Here they also share that they believe they have the potential to be the next huge industry-defining FPS franchise for generations of players. From this website area, the user could follow a hyperlink marked in yellow to the AAA team. However, the text states, “Meet the team.” This observation is also something that we noticed and mentioned earlier. 

Most of the hyperlinks had one statement, which led to another part of the website, resulting in difficulty knowing whether or not we had explored this aspect of the website previously. Without getting too hung up on details, the “Studio” part of the website also promotes its values to the user, which can be seen below:

Following the next item on the menu to the “AAA team,” the leading members of Shrapnel were displayed on the site, including the advisors. When we clicked on the photo or text of either the leadership or advisor, a squad member profile or advisor profile would appear, giving the user a chance to read more about the members and their experience records and crypto story. We found this a fun little detail to get to know the team more.

https://www.shrapnel.com/team/donnorbury

By scrolling down, the user would find yet another hyperlink called “Join our squad,” which would lead to the final and last part of the heading menu, “Careers,” where the user could see open positions and more.

Lastly, the webpage also promoted the partners on the site. More on these later in the research report. Purely aesthetically, the logos were of a nice size and looked harmoniously together, featuring big names such as Razer, Avalanche, and Spartan. The “Angel investors” were also nicely placed on the website, where all six fit on a regular PC screen.

Mobile

Main site

Opening the website on the mobile device, we noticed that the heading menu, which was visible on the desktop, had been replaced with a symbol. By clicking on the symbol, the options would expand. The nature of the mobile screen made it, so the background artwork lost a lot of its details, but the ember effects were still visible. The yellow arrow was still available, but upon clicking, we noticed that one of the pictures was left out.

Similar to the desktop, the heading menu reappears when scrolling on the mobile site. The layout fits the mobile screen when scrolling down on the mobile site. The pictures fit nicely and gave a nice touch. The hexagon details on the side were not visible on the screen, but the designer had kept the fading effect. An issue we’ve previously encountered when testing mobile sites has been that sometimes pieces of text from the website had been missing. We were happy to see that this wasn’t an issue on this website. For natural reasons, all the information on the main site was laid out in a portrait format. At the end of the main site, the user would be presented with links to discover more, as well as Shrapnels’ Twitter, Discord, and LinkedIn.

Game

When we entered the game aspect of the mobile site, the way the layout affected the screen was slightly more noticeable. While the rainy and lightning effects still occurred, it wasn’t easy to see what was really going on. When scrolling down, the following image was highly pixelated, and the last picture was in such a way that it was difficult to see what was going on. The rest of the website was well made and fit the mobile layout nicely.

For the gallery featuring more pictures, we stick to our opinion wishing there would be a way to open them into full screen. Unfortunately, especially on mobile, these pictures turned out very small on the screen. Nevertheless, it was made very clear to the user that they had to swipe to see more.

Blockchain

For the next part of the mobile site, “Our vision,” we experienced the layout as a good one. Again, the text size was well chosen, making it easy to read on mobile.

The “NFTs” section was well made for the mobile layout.

When continuing to the “Shrap Token.” The image of the coins actually looked great on the mobile site, and the text also fits the screen nicely; no text was missing, which we appreciate.

Roadmap

On mobile, the designer had created the roadmap into windows which had to be tapped to see more information. This solution, however, was nicely made apparent by yellow arrows, which we’ve seen throughout the web-and-mobile site.

About us

By clicking “News,” the user would be directed to the medium website.

Continuing to the “Studio,” the user would see the information in the standard portrait format, which suited the screen nicely. At this point, we were surprised to find no errors at all, and the artwork also looked really good when scrolling up and down.

The “AAA Team” part of the website also had a nice structure and well-balanced text, and the artwork looked good on the screen. By scrolling down, the user could explore the leadership and advisors. Then, by tapping the picture or information box on the website, the page would send the user to a new hyperlink, where the user could explore the team members’ name, job, callsign, experience record, and crypto story.

When clicking on “Partners” and scrolling down, we could see one verticle line of investors and partners, which seemed perfectly made for the mobile screen. However, when scrolling down, every one of the logos which we saw on the desktop version was represented. This was also the case for the investors.

Careers

By entering the last aspect of the site, the user would be able to explore and send an application for positions needed for their team. Also, the layout fits the screen well, and the user would get a full description by clicking on any position.

The Verdict

This website was gigantic and had much more than one would think. The main site gave a nice introduction to the game and the lore behind it. It created interest when reading, and the fantastic artwork captured our eye. We noticed that the designers reused some parts of the website. However, giving the user several reminders to check out their Discord server and the likes makes sense.

What we found confusing when exploring this huge website was that the yellow hyperlinks didn’t have the same title as the actual site. As a result, when entering hyperlink after hyperlink, we eventually felt like we were getting a little bit lost in all the information. Where did I just enter, and which part of the website was the last hyperlink? However, by going through the website chronologically, we did manage to check out the entire site.

Both versions had a distinct theme, but on the mobile site, we discovered that the hexagon details were lost because of the natural layout of the phone. While on the main mobile site, the user would automatically skip one of the artworks when clicking on the arrow to scroll down. We also noticed that some of the backgrounds seemed to be of low quality on the mobile site, and the cropped images resulted in less visible details. If we could wish for something, it would be to have the gallery available in full-screen mode.

https://twitter.com/playSHRAPNEL/status/1539635684880912384/photo/1

All in all, the website had very few “errors,” and using the upper menu, it was a smooth ride through the entire website. We loved the artwork and how the colors were used, and we also really enjoyed how well described the terms were on this website, making it understandable for all interested future players. By scrolling through all parts, we got to discover all the details which we would expect from a game website, such as background, info about the social media, blockchain, and token, roadmap, team and investors, and the idèa of the game.

Blockchain


What chain does the game run on?

Shrapnel informs the user on their website that they will be using an Avalanche subnet to build their game. The reasons for this are stated in the whitepaper, among others, because of its usability, accessibility, and security features. In addition, it is stated that Avalanche and the team share the same goal to minimize environmental impact. Because of this, Avalanche, which has a net-zero carbon footprint, was a natural choice when choosing a blockchain.

https://www.shrapnel.com/Shrapnel-White-Paper.pdf

Avalance

Avalanche is a high-performance, scalable, customizable, and secure blockchain platform. It is built for three main uses.

  • Building application-specific blockchains, covering private and public blockchain, depending on the permission factor.
  • Building and launching highly scalable and decentralized applications (DApps).
  • Building arbitrarily complex digital assets with custom rules, covenants, and riders (smart assets).

What separates Avalanche from other blockchains is its consensus mechanism. Consensus mechanisms have had almost 50 years of scrutiny, which has led to two different families of consensus protocols.

The classical consensus protocols rely on all-to-all communication, and the Nakamoto consensus protocol uses proof of work mining combined with the longest-chain rule. Classical mechanisms can have low latency and high throughput, but they don’t scale well while retaining the security.

Meanwhile, Nakamoto consensus protocols are robust, but the drawback is usually high latency, low throughput, and requires a lot of energy for their proof-of-work model, which is essential to their security.

Another consensus mechanism that has become prevalent in the recent years is the proof-of-stake model. Ethereum strives to implement this in Ethereum 2.0. Tezos and many new blockchains are also using it.

Correlatively, Avalanche has made its own family of protocols, known as Snow. Snow combines the best features of classical consensus protocols and the best of the Nakamoto consensus. It uses a lightweight mechanism that samples the network, leading to low latency and high throughput without agreeing on the precise membership of the system.

It can scale from thousands to millions of participants with direct participation in the consensus protocol. Because the protocol does not use any PoW mining, it does not use large amounts of energy, resulting in a lightweight, green protocol. In the image below, you can see a comparison of the different families of consensus mechanisms. Proof-of-Stake is not represented here.

Team


Who is on the team?

  • Mark Long – CEO https://www.linkedin.com/in/markvlong/
    • Director (Mar 2019 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • COO (Mar 2018 – Mar 2019) at 4D Factory
    • Group Program Manager (Nov 2016 – Mar 2018) at Microsoft
    • CEO (Jan 2014 – Jun 2016) at Aristia
    • CEO (Oct 2011 – Dec 2013) at Meteor Entertainment
    • CEO (Jan 1994 – Oct 2011) at Zombie Studios
  • Don Norbury – Head of Studio https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnorbury/
    • CTO (Apr 2020 – present) at NEON Media
    • Director of Engineering (May 2019 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • Senior Development Lead (Oct 2012 – Sep 2018) at Microsoft
    • A. I. Lead (Sep 2008 – Oct 2012) at Irrational Games
    • A. I. Engineer (Nov 2006 – Jul 2008) at LucasArts
    • Gameplay and A. I. Engineer (Jan 2005 – Nov 2006) at Electronics Arts
  • Colin Foran – Head of Game https://www.linkedin.com/in/colin-foran-9b81a55/
    • Chief Creative Officer (Apr 2020 – present) at NEON Media
    • Creative Lead (Apr 2016 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • Art Director (Apr 2014 – Apr 2016) at HBO
    • Associate Art Director (Jul 2012 – Apr 2014) at Microsoft
    • Artist (Jun 2008 – Jul 2012) at Microsoft Game Studios
  • Aaron Nonis – Head of Platform https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronnonis/
    • Chief Operating Officer (Apr 2020 – present) at NEON Media
    • VP Interactive and Immersive Experiences (Jan 2017 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • VP of Interactive Application Engineering (Jul 2012 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • Engineering Manager (May 2009 – Jul 2012) at Blade Games World
    • Lead Developer (Jan 2001 – May 2009) at Microsoft
  • Mark Yeend – Head of Marketing and Community https://www.linkedin.com/in/markyeend/
    • Chief Monetization Officer (Apr 2020 – Jan 2022) at NEON Media
    • Director of Product, Interactive R&D (Jan 2019 – Apr 2020) at HBO
    • Xbox Content Director (Apr 2013 – Dec 2018) at Microsoft
    • Publishing Head of Audio (Oct 2010 – Apr 2013) at Microsoft
    • Audio Director (Apr 2008 – Dec 2010) at Microsoft
    • Sound Designer (May 2007 – Apr 2008) at Microsoft
    • Music & Audio Director (Nov 1998 – May 2007) at Amaze Entertainment
  • Joshua M. Davis – Head of Experience https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-m-davis/
    • Director of Design (Jan 2019 – Mar 2020) at High Fidelity
    • Senior UX Design Leader (May 2015 – Jan 2019) at Microsoft
    • Senior UX Design Leader (Sep 2013 – May 2015) at 343 Industries
    • Principal UX Design Leader (May 2010 – Jul 2013) at Irrational Games
    • Senior Lead Interface Designer (Jan 2005 – May 2010) at Electronic Arts
  • Adrian Balanon – Gameplay Lead https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrian-balanon-3a67531/
    • Senior Designer (Oct 2018 – Mar 2022) at Microsoft
    • Senior Level Designer (Jun 2015 – Sep 2018) at Nvidia
    • Senior Systems Designer (Jan 2014 – Jun 2015) at Hangar 13 / 2K Games
    • Lead System Designer (Sep 2012 – Dec 2013) at Irrational Games
    • Senior System Designer (Apr 2011 – Sep 2012) at Irrational Games
    • Senior Designer (Feb 2010 – Mar 2011) at Treyarch
    • Senior Designer (Dec 2009 – Feb 2010) at Luxoflux
    • Designer (Aug 2007 – Dec 2009) at Luxoflux
    • Designer and Scripter (Sep 2005 – Aug 2007) at Treyarch
    • Associate Producer (Aug 2004 – Sep 2005) at Treyarch
    • Lead Production Tester (Oct 2003 – Aug 2003) at Treyarch
    • Production Tester (Jul 2003 – Oct 2003) at Treyarch
  • Clint Bundrick – Studio Creative Director https://www.linkedin.com/in/clintbundrick/
    • Senior Design Director (Jan 2020 – Mar 2022) at Turn 10 Studios
    • Senior Design Director (Oct 2012 – Jan 2020) at Microsoft
    • Design Director (Mar 2010 – Oct 2012) at Irrational Games
    • Principal Combat Designer (Mar 2010 – Apr 2012) at Irrational Games
    • Lead World Builder / Senior Systems and Mission Designer (Oct 2007 – Mar 2010) at Volition-inc
    • Assistant Producer / Senior Game Designer (Apr 2005 – Oct 2007) at Electronic Arts
    • Game Designer (Feb 2004 – Mar 2005) at High Voltage Software
    • Xbox ATG Game Evaluation Lead (Aug 2001 – Sep 2003) at Microsoft
  • Arunan Rabindran – Platform Engineer https://www.linkedin.com/in/arunanrabindran/
    • Engineering Manager (Mar 2021 – May 2022) at Medium
    • Director of Engineering (Nov 2020 – Apr 2021) at Suki
    • Senior Engineering Manager (Nov 2018 – Nov 2020) at Suki
    • Staff Engineer (Aug 2017 – Nov 2018) at Suki
    • Front End Engineer (Feb 2015 – Aug 2017) at Docker
    • UI Technical Staff (Oct 2011 – Feb 2015) at VMware
  • Tina Russel – Financial Controller https://www.linkedin.com/in/tinadrussell/
    • Senior Finance Manager (Oct 2021 – Jun 2022) at Rad Power Bikes
    • Senior Finance Manager (2012 – Sep 2021) at Monolith Productions (WB Games)
    • Finance Manager (2007 – 2012) at Microsoft

Advisors

  • Ali «Myth» Kabbani – Game Advisor
    • Pro gamer and top-tier streamer
  • Terry Spier – Game Advisor
    • Creative Director, Ubisoft Red Storm
  • Neal Stephenson – Game Advisor
    • No. 1 New York Times bestselling author
  • Derek Kolstad – Story Advisor
    • Creator of John Wick
  • William Yang – Corporate Advisor
    • Founder of Unity Technologies Korea
  • Geoffrey Hayes – Blockchain Advisor
    • Co-Founder of Compound Finance
  • Jesper Kyd – Music Advisor
    • Bafta Award-Winning Composer
  • Mike Wilson – Publishing Advisor
    • Founder of Devolver
  • Alex Beck – Partnerships Advisor
  • Jason Hollingshead – Military Advisor
    • Retired Navy Seal
  • Ken Cron – Corporate Afvisor
    • Chairman & CEO of Coin Operated Group
  • James Zhang – Blockchain Advisor
    • CEO of Concept Art House
  • Stephan Bugaj – Transmedia Advisor
    • Former Writer at Pixar
  • Dmitri Johnson – Transmedia Advisor
    • Producer of Sonic The Hedgehog movie
  • John Benyamine – Marketing Advisor
    • Chief Content Officer of Rektglobal
  • John Guadiosi – Marketing Advisor
    • Former Game Journalist at Forbes
  • Jay Chang – Gamefi Advisor
    • Co-Founder of Genopets

Team assessment

The team making Shrapnel is exceptionally diverse with a lot of experience in many areas – we’re amazed by this team. This team consists of people that fill all the roles thinkable that would be needed to make a game of this caliber, making them very competent at handling the different situations and possible hurdles that may arise throughout their production.

They have 20+ employees; most of them have relevant experience within their respective fields and a plethora of diverse advisors in several areas of the game development, such as the gameplay itself, narrative, military, blockchain, music, corporate and more.

In addition, they also have 27 open positions, many of which are strong lead and director positions. Undoubtedly, this studio means business with the already extensive team they have while recruiting this aggressively.

The information was easy to find, and Shrapnel seems confident in its team members, partners, and advisors. They utilize their homepage well to present their core members, as well as in their whitepaper. They’ve also got a seemingly, complete list of their members on their LinkedIn as well, where most of their members have written down their previous work experience in an organized and presentable way.

This might be the best presentation of team members we’ve seen in our research to this date. Kudos to Shrapnel for making the information regarding their team members publically available to the degree they’ve done.

We’re highly confident in this team’s expertise, experience, and diversity.

Do They Have Relevant Experience?

The simple answer is; yes.

The members in crucial positions have extensive relevant experience in their respective areas. The members also have experience from huge companies, such as Microsoft, HBO, Electronic Arts (EA), Irrational Games, 343 Industries, Treyarch, and more. In addition, they have experience in AAA titles such as Halo, Call of Duty, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Bioshock, Killer Instinct, The Sims, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and many more.

Their advisory team is also extensive and diverse, with experts that are well known, such as Ali «Myth» Kabbani, Derek Kolstad, and Terry Spier. The advisors cover vital roles such as Game, Story, Corporate, Blockchain, Music, Publishing, Partnerships, Military, Transmedia, Marketing, and GameFi advisors. We couldn’t think of many more roles that need to be covered outside these.

After reading through all the members and advisors connected to this project, there isn’t much more to say than; The team behind Shrapnel has a solid foundation to make something great.

Who Are Their Backers?

Roadmap


Game developers roadmap

https://www.shrapnel.com/roadmap

Alpha Teams Thoughts On The Roadmap

At the moment, the team is still in its early phase when it comes to the roadmap. However, by viewing the roadmap, we can see that phase 00 is in progress, including establishing social channels such as Twitter and Discord while forming an Elite Shrapnel community, including voting and executions.

Next would be Phase 01, 02, 03, and 04, which is in the future. But for now, we are waiting for the SHRAP token launch, also mentioned in the FAQs on the website. However, a date has not been released for the token release. So right now, it seems like any game enthusiast would have to follow their Twitter, join the Discord server, or subscribe to the newspaper to get the newest info.

Phase 02 is possibly the first step into the mindset of the game. For this part, the players can reserve an operator name, host and promote maps, and more. However, we cannot see any time stamps for when to expect these different phases to start or end. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As mentioned before, The Alpha team would rather have a game create a great game while spending some extra time than a low-quality game in a short amount of time, only to die slowly after release.

Phase 03 gives yet another step into the game, allowing for a vanity tool, map tool, and marketplace opening. However, if we look at the goals for phase 04, the game will be ready to play, creating competitive game trials, which we are very excited about. We also notice the creator rewards, which makes us think that being an active community member, creating maps, NFTs, and crafting will be beneficial in more ways than one.

We are looking forward to what’s to come from Shrapnel regarding their Roadmap, and we hope to see some dates set on the roadmap in the future.

Guild Facilitation


Delegation: Not announced.
From what we can find, there has not been any announcement on whether there is delegation or guild facilitation within Shrapnel.

Whitepaper


https://www.shrapnel.com/Shrapnel-White-Paper.pdf

Alpha Teams General Thoughts On The Whitepaper

Shrapnel’s whitepaper is 36 pages and consists of the information we seek when researching a project; it’s structured well and easy to read with good infographics and images that help the overall readability of the whitepaper. The titles are concise and straight to the point. The design of the whitepaper follows suit to the general design language seen on Shrapnel’s website and other mediums – which we find to be an excellent overall design.

One thing we would’ve liked to see is a version of the whitepaper in GitBook-style. GitBook is an easy way to navigate and read the whitepaper and is often much easier to read on significantly smaller devices. However, all the graphics in the pdf version can make the pdf slow to load on some devices – A GitBook version would negate this potential issue, making it more efficient for the end-user.

Overall we find Shrapnel’s whitepaper to be good.

Socialnomics


Social media followers count

PlatformFollower Count
Discord26,025
Twitter21,466

The Discord server currently consists of 26 025 members and several chats, including a community chat and Q&A. It seems like the Discord server was created in November 2021, according to their first posts in the “rules” server, and went live around December 21. 

The community chats are seemingly active and friendly, bringing up game-related topics. The server, like many others, had a level system as a reward for being active on the server, which could be seen as a fun little addition. There is also a community-art server, which the Alpha Team always approves. However, it seemed to be covered in 99% memes and 1% fanart.

Shrapnels’ Twitter account seems highly active, often having 5-10 posts every day, sharing big and small moments, and interacting with their fanbase. By using the number of followers, followed by the number of interactions, we see that the Twitter profile has an engagement rate between 0,2%-0,4% and up to 3% on collaboration posts which is a really good number. However, mark that these calculations don’t consider the followers who never got the tweets on their feed in the first place.

All in all, the community seems to be active and engaged, and the Twitter profile is also highly active and responds to its fanbase. It looks like Shrapnel has decided to focus on just two platforms. However, we think the phrase “quality over quantity” is true in most cases. The following on both Discord and Twitter is decent, but for a huge project like this, we expect these numbers to rise rapidly in the near future.Lastly, by checking playtoearn.net, we can see that Shrapnel ranks at #67 with a +5,73% in social score. NB: be aware that these rankings change every 24hrs, so these stats will only be the case for a short while.

Speculation And Connecting The Dots


With a game project like this, with members that have such diverse experiences, we are very excited to see what’s to come. Shrapnel’s website stated that the team wants to be a part of the change that we can see in the gaming world, hinting that this will only be the start. Continuing by saying they will be a part of the metaverse. Perhaps this team will be much more relevant in the future and has more plans than we know, aside from this particular game.

We can see Avenged sevenfold member, M. Shadows, as a part of the investors. According to Spotify, the band has close to 400 million listens to their hit song ‘Hail to the King’ and 6,5 million monthly listeners. With M. Shadows’ background in music, we wonder if he will have something to do with the background music in the game or perhaps even help with the voice acting. Or maybe not; we are only speculating. However, we could absolutely see a music style as we’ve seen from the band taking part in this game.

Lastly, with the team’s overall level and the game to be, we truly believe this can be one of the leading GameFi games in the grander metaverse, reflecting our score of 8.

https://www.shrapnel.com/our-vision

Conclusion


As you’ve probably already guessed, the Alpha team’s overall conviction for Shrapnel is HIGH, and this is for sure one of those games we’re confident will be a leader in the space and set a good example of what a GameFi shooter really can be. We’re patiently awaiting the first playtesting opportunities and will be all over it once we get the chance. Judging by the artwork presented on the website and whitepaper, we are very excited to see the quality that the creators of this game will bring into the GameFi world.

It’s not possible to overstate how qualified Shrapnel’s team is for the task at hand and if there ever is a team to deliver a great GameFi shooter game, it would be Shrapnel’s impressive team.

We’d love to see a more detailed roadmap and whitepaper, especially further details on the games Tokenomics and how they will deal with future larger unlock sell-offs. Regarding Shrapnel’s socialnomics, we are heavily expecting an upswing here once more content gets showcased and the team gets a chance to promote its project. Of course, another big potential challenge will be reaching the players outside the Avalanche ecosystem. Still, we’re pretty confident they can manage to do this if their quality will reach gamers’ expectations.

Closing off, holistically, we are impressed with this project and judging from the team, advisors, and the quality of the artwork. We are sure this will be a banger you’d want to keep an eye on.

Alpha Team

Nicholas Korsgård

CGO

Sigurd Thomassen

Game Strategist

Kim Bjerkeli

Game Strategist

Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen

Game Researcher

Luke Jech

Game Researcher

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